Monday, December 29, 2008

Day 4 - Cross-Country

Today was another tough road-day, but we made great progress. After a leisurely morning in Alexandria, lunch and a loot-filled visit to my favorite sculptress Lisa Schumaier at the Torpedo Factory, we hit the road back south. After hitting our first traffic jam of the entire trip, we eventually made our way to horse country in the quaint and charming town of Middleburg, VA. After a too-quick stop, we hit the road again - destination Nashville.

Along the way, we made a detour to see the Natural Bridge and the spectacular Foamhenge - a replica of Stonehenge made out of, you guessed it, foam. Clearly this year's trip is a big departure from our big trip last December, which took us to the real Stonehenge. Still, it is no less memorable.

Alas, after a full-day of driving, we didn't make it to Nashville...yet - we're camping out in a hotel in Kingsport, TN until the wee morning hours.

Day 3 - Feet on the Ground in DC

Day three brought us to one of my favorite cities, Washington DC. We started our morning in Alexandria and took the oh-so-convenient Metro into town (why can't Atlanta have decent mass transit?). We had a delicious brunch at Clyde's (touristy I know, but their food and atmosphere is great) and then headed over to the Mall where we partook in the Natural History Museum and American History Museum. Next, we hoofed it over to the White House and Corcoran, and then over to Arlington where we watched the touching ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and paid our respects to JFK and Jackie O. After a night-cap of Oyster's at Hanks in Alexandria and a few glasses of vino, we were off to bed and ready for our next adventure.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Day 2 - "Two" much driving

The second day of our journey started out nicely, with the sun shining and the birds chirping. Despite the sunny start, our departure from Asheville in the early morning was prelude to a full day in the car. Despite our coin toss dictating a detour to Orlando, we drove east towards Raleigh, where we stopped to have lunch with my dad, step-mom and bro, which was one of the highlights of our trip.

After lunch, we decided that rather than hit the rainy Outer Banks we'd head north to D.C. We arrived in Alexandria at around 8 p.m. and that was our day. Day 3 will be better!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Day One - Not So Epic

So, my blog this week is supposed to be about "Troy and Kim's Epic Eastern Adventure." Today marks Day 1, which I can confess was not so epic. Here's my highlights for today:

- 3 incredibly nasty public restrooms
- 1 mini container of Pringles
- 4 pieces of Grannie's fudge
- 1 incredibly disappointing trip to the Grove Park Inn, which resulted in a quick reservation cancellation (despite incredibly gracious service)
- 1 inland sushi dinner (which was pleasant, at least until tomorrow)

Day 1 took us from the ATL where Troy was nursing a cold or the flu; to Highlands, NC, which we drove through in a flash thanks to plenty of rain and fog; to Cashiers, NC (aka No-man's-land); to Asheville, where we've had one misadventure after another. I'm already longing for home - and it's been less than 9 hours.

Things are starting to look up though - there's a Lindy Hop convention at our hotel! :) Here's to a third glass of wine before we go watch 'em.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Santa's Minions

Each year, thousands of Santas descend upon NYC in their holiday finery for Santacon, which is reminiscent to me of Mardi Gras or Gasparilla Day. Fueled by alcohol and creativity, these Santas bring the holiday to life - at least in their own, wild and crazy drunken way. I was witness to Santacon in person one year, not knowing what I'd stumbled onto and it was pure bedlam. Apparently there are Santacons in cities spanning the country - I've never seen one in Atlanta, but maybe it's time to start spreading the word for 2009.

Friday, December 12, 2008


I spend a lot of time in traffic, and think about lots of things while I'm sitting...braking...waiting...

I think I can attribute my many obsessions to traffic-induced daydreaming. What do I daydream about - a twisted permutation of stuff which quickly become my obsessions du jour (or du month). Here's what I'm obsessing about now:

The Black Ghosts and Arcade Fire for my musical entertainment
Lipstick Jungle, Gossip Girl and Top Chef
The crazy Christmas minivan I saw the other day covered in lights and driving in my morning commute (I hope to see it again to snap a pic)
Chicken Salad
Rob Pattinson (see obsession with everything Twilight above)
Brooke Shields (see Lipstick Jungle, and she looks better than ever!)

Zig Zag

I think we could all use some cheering up, so I'm suggesting you give yourself a little gift this holiday season -- and, it's free! If you love good food, print out your local Zagat Guide's "Top Rating" list for your area and eat local. Try a new restaurant every time you have occasion to go out to dinner and check them off. Don't worry, not everything on their list is a splurge. Not only will you find hidden gems you didn't know existed in your city, but you'll also frequently be supporting local businesses.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Riding High

Sometimes even I wonder when my trend predictions will come true. Today, vindication - my favorite NYT photographer of all things cutting-edge on their way to mainstream, Bill Cunningham, did a feature on boots with a major portion dedicated to...wait for it...fringe!

Friday, December 5, 2008

The People's Inauguration...Really

This is the most hopeful story I've read in a long time so I had to share. It's so nice in times like these to see the true heart of people - thank you Earl Stafford.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I thought about doing a word of the day (WOTD), but I realized that would be really hard to keep up with. So, I'm doing word of the month (WOTM) instead. I always get stuck on a word that I think is particularly worthy of use over and over (and sometimes over) again.

Last month's word was "Terroir," which is worthy of a post in and of itself. I love the word because it is impossible to say. I was wracking my brain for weeks around how to say it properly - and then, voila, at the JS retreat our wine tasting guide (aka sommelier) said it! OK, pronunciation time - tear whar. Now I've seen it in an ad for Kendall Jackson. Who knows where it will pop up next. BTW, it loosely means "sense of place."

This month's word is "Trotting." A trot is a speeded-up walk, almost a run. My dog Collier is a great trotter. Horses all trot, so do pigs, cows, and people too. Just get a mental picture of it - "let's go trotting." Hilarious.

I can't wait to see what next month brings - I promise it won't be anything too cerebral.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Twilight Redux

So when I posted my first musings about Twilight a few weeks ago, I had no idea what sort of phenom I stumbled upon. I thought I just found a great song. Then a good movie. I saw the movie, and was interested in buying the book - which was pretty much sold out, BTW. Now, I'm gradually uncovering the world of Twilighters, some of whom are my friends that I had no idea had discovered the phenomenon before me. I am sinking my teeth into the first book now and can only hope to find the three sequels soon. Need a Christmas idea for one of your friends or loved ones? This may be the ticket - especially if she's a teen or middle-aged girl in need of a major distraction.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Santa's Spirit at Swansons

Yesterday my mom was feeling well enough to go for a drive. We hit the road and over the hills we went to Swansons, an amazing "hidden" gem on Seattle's northern side. I had no idea what I was in for - how great can a nursery be? As an admitted dirt-phobe, it made me want to "play in the dirt again" and break out my spade - and, it really got me in the mood for Christmas!

First stop, the reindeer pen, where two full-sized reindeer were taking a little nap before waking for their afternoon snack. Their hairy noses were so cute, and we got buttons with their likeness in exchange for a donation to the local humane society. Next up, the holiday train set. Then inside for a peppermint mocha and some Christmas shopping. It was pure bliss! If only my local Pike's Family Nursery would take some notes.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Vampires that Don't Suck...At Least I Hope Not

It's been a while since I've blogged - there's not been much happy news to report despite my attempts to keep a bright, shiny outlook on things. But at last, something comes my way that inspires my creative juices to flow again. And what is it you ask? Vampires!

Twilight HD Trailer

Twilight, a new vampire movie out in theaters on Nov. 20, looks good enough to take me out of my repressed childhood sheets and blankets covering my head every night for fear of getting bitten by a vampire phase. Every 10 or so years vampires have their day in the sun (er, moonlight) and this year's version features a British import in the title role, pegged as "the sexiest vampire" by People. I don't know much more about it yet except that it also features a new Paramore song that I like -- a lot. I'm going to check it out. After all, it is the first movie since Sex and the City that has piqued my interest this year -- and it'll be a fun outing after I'm full of Thanksgiving turkey.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

ATL Steps it Up

If you've been wondering where all of the fun cultural outings in Atlanta have gone, have no fear there are two (count 'em, two!) exciting new exhibits coming up. The first, which I have to admit I'm a bit obsessed with, is the traveling King Tut exhibit. Since my mom took me to New Orleans as a child to see King Tut's fabulous gilded wares, I've had a soft spot in my heart for the Egyptian king - hmm, maybe I should break out my Cleopatra costume this Halloween.

The second is the High's installation of more than 100 Chinese warriors from the First Emperor's Terracotta Army. Touted as the 8thWonder of the World, the Army's discovery was one of the greatest archaeological finds in the 20th Century. Both begin this fall, so buy tickets now before they're gone.

See, Atlanta's not just about hip-hop wives and their bling - take that Real Housewives!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Black and Blue

I've always loved the color combo of black and blue - and not in a bruisy way. This week's NYT Bill Cunningham slide montage straight from Paris fashion week shows the innately chic love it too - so go get yourself some for spring and wear it now. Black, always the best choice for clothing, is accented by sapphire blue or shocking pink. I'll be picking blue for myself. Toodles.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Parish the Thought

Atlantans, do you keep hearing about Parish? Does it live up to the hype??

I went for the first time tonight, and I have to say atmosphere, yes; food, no. Atmosphere is amazing - I felt like I was in New Orleans - no, New York - no, Atlanta - no, France. Ok, the last one is maybe a stretch, but it does have an amazing atmosphere of brownstone meets New Orleans quirkiness meets Atlanta quaintness.

The food was good, but I thought disappointing as I was expecting much, much more. See my other blog for details on the two varieties of "cheesecake" sampled. I got the veggie plate - locally-grown, organic veggies that were definitely yummy but nothing special - except for the fried squash. Maybe I'm spoiled by all of the great restaurants the ATL has to offer. Nonetheless, a worthwhile experience and I'll definitely go again for happy hour and the cute market downstairs. Bonus: To work in your daily exercise, go to the bathroom and push on the door - it weighs about 100 lbs.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Does Halloween Have to be So Scary?

I don't want to be a sexy kitten or a witch this year -- why must Halloween costumes be so sleazy? I've been wracking my brain to come up with a costume and may resort to being a bat. Do you have any ideas??

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I Love Wordle

Make your own at!

Surrey With a Fringe on Top

I'm seeing stars...oops, I mean fringe, everywhere. I've been noticing it here and there, but this morning it struck me that it is on the tipping edge of becoming a big trend. Sure, this morning's inspiration came in the form of a biker chick with tassles hanging from her handlebars (suede pink, chocolate and black, mind-you), but I found it utterly adorable and it matched her black and pink "biker" jacket perfectly. On Monday's The Hills, LC's cover up was simple and white - except for the fringe hanging from the sleeves. And, fringed purses and boots are popping up everywhere. My current favorites from Gucci are pictured here. Add a little flair to your wardrobe by fringing it up -- just make sure it is tasteful.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Fat Girl's Nightmare

It is worth a new fat roll every now and then when you get ahold of something as sinfully delicious as Publix's Denali Bearfoot Brownie ice cream. Yum. With swirls of fudge that taste like memories of Magic Shell and little pieces of brownie in vanilla ice cream, I'm willing to pack on the occasional pudge. Get some.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Awful Assets

Hmmm, didn't "assets" used to be a good word? I just overheard on ABC News the phrase "no one wants to buy awful assets" - seems a bit like an oxymoron, eh? The economy is freakishly scary right now, but that doesn't mean you have to hunker down and become a hermit. Here are a few ideas for living on the cheap:

1. Get Outside! Ride your bike, plant a garden, walk the dogs, roll in the grass (I saw a cute dog doing this on the way home, looked like fun!)
2. Sell some stuff - Clean out your closet, garage, junk drawers and sell it all - I'm a big advocate for throwing away too, but some people don't like to get rid of stuff, so why not try posting on eBay or have a garage sale?
3. Check out the local scene - Anyone ever wander their own neighborhood anymore? There are great finds to to be had - personally, I love my local French bakery; and C'est Moi for glamorous accessories, furniture, coffee table books and much, much more; local nail salon; and pet supply store where my dog and I go to watch the hamsters and ferrets for hours.
4. People watch in the gas line - Go watch road rage at its finest at your local gas station. Take some pictures while you're at it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Gwyneth Paltrow is copying me. I'm very disturbed, because I can't compete with her money or influence -- and of course, she's married to one of the most amazing men on God's green earth.

I saw tonight that she's just launched a new web site called GOOP - I guess it's a Gwyneth co-op of sorts. Really, all she did is steal my concept for Itgredients and post it on a real web site instead of just a lowly old blog. What's next? She's going to ask for the help of friends and strangers to buy some old dilapidated French Chateau and try to open a bed and breakfast? Geez - can't people be original anymore?

P.s. - Just kidding, I think she's fabulous and if she read Itgredients, I'd be thrilled!

P.p.s - Sign up for her newsletter now to get her tips when the site fully launches.

Monday, September 22, 2008

TV's Big Night

Award season is off to its official start, with last night's Emmy's being a forecaster of things to come. While the show itself was a bit dull (could they shorten the made for TV movie/mini-series category??), I was, as always, excited by what I saw on the red carpet. My pick for best-dressed was January Jones from Mad Men - original and angelic in her all white ensemble. Special honors also go to Brooke Shields, Heidi Klum and Christina Applegate. Best-dressed man was either David Piven or my Mad Men fave Jon Hamm.

For the full coverage check out E Online.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Fun with Facebook

I always thought the mid-30s (ok, maybe late 30s) were too old for Facebook, but my colleague Trudy convinced me to join -- and I did. It is so much fun and could suck away the whole day if you don't keep yourself at a distance. I've heard from old friends, new friends, kinda friends and found a whole community of people who are interested in the same crazy things as me. If you haven't done it already, sign up!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hip to Be Square

The oh-so-serious, holy grail of business -- The Wall Street Journal -- is seeing new life with a trendy take a la the New York Times. This Sunday marked the first edition of the paper's new magazine WSJ - and I like it! The team of contributors dug for some good stuff and the web site design is a marketer's dream, a few highlights:

- Designer Roland Mouret makes a dress out of WSJs
- McMansion backlash
- Deltalina's sultry airplane safety video
- Poochi Gucci doggy photo shoot

Nice work! Hope you enjoy.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Fanny Fanny Bo-Banny

Oh wow, I can't believe I forgot to put up this controversial post. For months, years even, I've been predicting the return of the fanny pack. I know, it is a hideous invention - but oh so convenient and secure in all its myriad forms. While a few lackluster versions have returned to the scene recently - the passport protector inside the pants, the suburban power walker with two water bottles - I still think the good old fashioned fanny is making its way back...and soon. Personally, I've been eyeballing the black Gucci for quite some time.

Bra Free Sunday

I hate wearing bras on Sunday. It's the only day of the week where my body gets to break free from the constricting wares of the work uniform and has a chance to prepare itself for the long week ahead. In honor of Mrs. Stimler in Splash however, today was "bra on the outside" day. For those of you who don't remember Mrs. Stimler's pivotal role in the move, I recommend you watch it again - there are many hidden nuggets of hilariousness worth checking out ("Dr. Corn Beef", "Let's pee down his airhose") that I'm sure you didn't catch the first time around.

Mrs. Stimler has apparently suffered some sort of memory lapse or stroke, and wore her bra on the outside. I know some of us have had Sundays like that where our brains are checked at the door. Mine was today. I went to book club and seriously had to check myself to make sure my underwear wasn't on the outside. When I got there, I felt much better after a fellow book clubber (who shall remain nameless) said she went to the pool one day, took off her cover up and had a bathing suit top on with her underwear. Here's to giving our brains a break.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Black Magic

Black is a recurring theme here on ye old blog, and it has suddenly trickled into the food world. I mentioned Gourmet's Paris issue in a recent post, and discovered there a new find. Forbidden Black Chinese Rice! It's kind of like white rice, but ever more glamorous. Available at Purcell Mountain Farms, hopefully it will come to Whole Foods and other gourmet purveyors soon.

If you're not into black food, how about purple, coral or ruby red? Try these rice varietals from Alter Eco, a French-based company focused on fair trade and sustainable products, that was featured on Martha Stewart today. You can both create a beautiful meal and feel good about it in the process.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Merry Old England

On this dreary, blustery, sprinkly weekend, I'm reminded of England -- and continue to be inspired by Brit singer songwriter extraordinaire Richard Ashcroft. Staying inside allowed me the luxury of time to find some of his solo efforts online. This Verve frontman is just moody enough (yet surprisingly romantic at the same time) to set the tone for a rainy weekend.

Here are two of my favorite finds - Ashcroft with Coldplay at Live 8 (the highlight of the multi-day concert and Bob Geldof benefit) and a great love song that is not available on iTunes (yet)! I expect with the release of the new Verve album his music will get some rekindled recognition.

A Song for the Lovers

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hungry for Hermes

Hermes - just the orange gets my heart racing. The ne plus ultra of luxury goods has outdone itself with its new web site Les ailes d'Hermes (The Wings of Hermes). While eerily similar to Coldplay's teaser site for Viva la Vida, which asked registrants to unlock content and revealed new videos, photos, songs and other fun stuff, the Hermes site has a collage of content - some artistic, some trying to sell one of their glorious products, and cleverly asking you to register. It's more than worth spending an hour of your time on - especially if you're a marketeer or just curious.

Speaking of Coldplay, the v2 video for Viva la Vida is a must-see.

Color Your World

A bit of frivolous fun for today's post. Check out your color sign on the Pantone "Colorstrology" site where you can learn more about what color represents you based on your birthday. Mine is creme de menthe! Yummy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Paris Pilgrimage

Check out the Paris Pilgrimage post on my American Dream/vive la France blog. It's all about this month's glorious issue of Gourmet devoted to the most amazing city in the world. Mon dieu!

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Hills are Alive...

With the sound of catfights! Tonight marks the official return of the fall TV season, with the season premiere of The Hills. The reality show extraordinaire should be fantastic this season, with a montage of uncomfortable silence, an ever-revolving door of LC's new boy toys, Audrina's consistently plunging necklines (and short, short, short skirts and shorts), Whitney's blooming career and Lo's new bod.

Behold the casual fashion show and the frequent Chanel handbag sightings as a strong predictor of fall trends. And, let's all cross our fingers and pray that this season marks the end of the couple who shall remain nameless (let's put their 15 minutes to rest once and for all).

Happy viewing!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The French Roll

I'm pretty sure the French had no "role" in this one. Apparently, the press is calling Katie Holmes' newest "trendsetting" look - rolling the cuffs of her baggy and frayed (oh, the horrors) jeans - "The French Roll." Really? This is a total rip-off the the "tight pegged" look from the 80s, which I kindly called "the tight-pegging putz" because it was such a horrible look.

Katie honey, I think you have great style, but I'm going to have to say no on this one.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back in Black

Summertime is almost over and that means black is back (not that it ever left). My favorite wardrobe staple can be found in many end-of-summer incarnations as seen in this week's slideshow from New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham.

For the remaining hot days, try a black tank and white jeans with wedges, or a simple black tank dress with flats or thong sandles. Don't forget your trusty cardigan just in case of arctic blasts once inside!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Rose Colored Glasses

After perusing the Neiman Marcus fall catalog, it is apparent the world will be looking at things through rose colored glasses this fall. What better way to see things when the economy is down?
To get your rose on, try Tom Ford's sunglasses in a super burgundy tint. Or, try on a romantic and ruffled blouse inspired by your favorite flowers. Expanding beyond rose, other jewel tones will be all over - purples, greens, royal blues. It's time to try on some color and think beyond basic black - that goes for me too!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Capitol Campaign

Wow - this country is campaign crazy. During a visit to DC this week, I realized what an industry there is just making hideous campaign T-shirts, buttons, mugs, snowglobes - all matter of paraphernalia.

On the less tacky side, DC's wonderful museums and cultural institutions always make me yearn for more culture. Currently, the Smithsonian's International Museum features the works of Jim Henson. Here you can see the real Kermit THE frog, Bert and Ernie and many more of our childhood friends, including the frackles pictured below.

After getting your fix of the big city, take a short train ride down to Alexandria. With its airy waterfront locale and amazingly beautiful and quaint historic buildings, you can almost feel our forefathers in the air. At the Torpedo Factory (yes, they did make torpedoes there once), local artists showcase their wares in dozens of studios. One of my favorites is Lisa Schumaier. Her Raku animals, monsters and people are so devilishly clever. I've got the "Smarter Monster" waiting for me to send for him.

Lisa introduced me to her friend Kathy Beynette, who is a painter. Kathy's work is also on my wish list - the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood reading a book or zebras speaking French schoolbook phrases, how can you get any better?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Vested Interest

I'm loving vests right now as an easy way to pull together an outfit. They've been on the scene for a while as a casual accoutrement, but I like them better with a dressier look. The waistcoat, as the Brits call it, can top a ruffled shirt and pencil skirt, or a flowy blouse and baggy trousers - perfect for fall! Or, spice up a little black dress with a colorful vest a la Yves Saint Laurent's stunning blue spin on the traditional "le smoking" jacket.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Le Reve Americain -- or My American Dream

So this internet thing has me really thinking. If I can create a fun blog, why can't I also create a blog that helps me attain a dream. Millions of people worldwide have made their dreams come true with the help of some internet friends. Why not me?

If you build it, they will come - that's my new mantra. This itgredients blog is not about me - but I've made one that is. It's about my dream to own a French Chateau and how I'm going to get there. I've never been one to ask for help - but I'm asking for it now. Visit my new blog, read about my journey, bookmark it and share my dream with your friends, family, coworkers, anyone...

Vive la France

If only I had a million dollars. Yesterday, I visited chocolatier extraordinaire Lexington Chocolatier in the Georgia Tech complex to buy some of their sinful chocolate covered oreos. What does this have to do with France you ask? Or a million dollars? Well, we got on the subject of our collective obsession with Marie Antoinette and my dream to one day be an English speaking tour guide at Versailles. The owner of LC regularly monitors a French Chateau-for-sale web site for his dream home and sent me the link. Mon dieux, I need a Chateau tout de suite and can get one for only 1 million U.S. dollars. Anyone want to lend me some money?

While I dream of owning property en France, I'll indulge my weakness for French pastry at Douceur de France in Marietta. This tiny, off-the-beaten-path patisserie sells Atlanta's most authentique French pastries, cakes, baguette and more. Just this morning, I bought a selection of croissants, macaron de Paris and un Napoleon for a weekend of indulgence. Yum!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Creature Comforts

As our Olympians begin their long journey to China, a special kind of athlete is also preparing for the trip. America's equestrian team is loading up their athletes of the hooved sort for a long journey to the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

As anyone who loves horses knows, these equine athletes are the true stars in this show - and at more than a million dollars a pop, they should be. I hope NBC's coverage includes some of the competition - usually it's relegated to the overnights.

Coco Would be Proud

Karl Lagerfeld and the team at Chanel continue to innovate. This time, they're crossing over into the art world with a mobile exhibit traveling globally over the next few years. The show will stop in New York's Central Park this fall.

The exhibition's web site is stunningly beautiful, with amazing photography and a mini film following the first installation in Tokyo. What an inspiration for marketers like me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What's Next?

I've been debating what to post next, since nothing particularly inspiring is going on this week. Let's drag ourselves out of the mid-week doldrums and find something fun, unique, exciting!

Belts - belts are exciting! Belts for fall are exciting - like little jewelboxes for your waist. I have to confess, I haven't worn a belt since college, but all of a sudden I decided I had to have a belt. Not just any belt, a thick belt - but not a corset-like belt a la Sex and the City - those are so passe. Find something unique, that fits your style and wear it to your heart's content.

Food - food is always lots of fun! Today we had a snow cone truck come to work, I know, what kind of job has a snow cone truck come to work? I'm so lucky. Snow cones make great summer snacks - if you're in Atlanta track down the Orleagian Snowballs truck at Ponce and Moreland - or, even better, have them come to your next party.

OK, I'm tapped out for today - must be the sugar setting in.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mad About Mad Men

Have you seen it yet? Apparently I'm behind the curve on this one - since it was nominated for about 90 Emmy awards - but wow, it's good. During the first episode, I couldn't get over the women's roles, or lack thereof, in the workplace. Now I'm really into the storyline of these chauvinistic, alcoholic, cigarette-addicted advertising men and the women who love them. If you have OnDemand, check out the entire first season under "TV entertainment" - I promise, just looking at Jon Hamm in his debonair suits will be worth the lost time.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Yuppy Revenge

God, I'm craving Seattle sushi and red wine. I can't stop thinking of my favorite sushi haunt in Seattle's Madison Park neighborhood (Chinoise?) that my mom and I go to almost every time I visit her in the Emerald City. Super cute neighborhood, former home to Kurt Cobain - although it has nothing grungy about it. I think I'm craving a dose of Seattle - it's the perfect time of year to visit - and have a hunch that grunge is on it's way back. Prepare to be mad for plaid this fall - and look for a few flannel shirt-inspired duds on the catwalks.

Conversely, I have also been predicting a major return of the prepster for some time. While boat shoes (or Docksiders, topsiders, whatever you call them) are back in a big way this summer, keep an eye out for even more signs of the times (recession, anyone?) to make their 80's style mark as our economy continues to falter. Watch out for even more severe bobs, Barbour jackets, turned-up collars on starched polos, gold-link bracelets and Rolexes, vintage BMWs, totes and duffle bags. I haven't begun to see the signs in stores yet, so I may be ahead of the curve on this by at least a season or two, but I'd be willing to bet the farm on it. For a hint, check out the ultimate preppy band, Vampire Weekend. They're my new fave for weekends on the boat.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I'm drawing a lot of inspiration from the New York Times this week (well, ok, pretty much any week but I promise I won't dedicate all posts to it). Today's interactive feature on homes designed based on emotional and psychological needs was pretty darn interesting - and the house they featured must have been taken right out of my psyche (sorry Mom - had to use a therapist's term).

Some day I'll have a farm like this. Hey, one can dream, right!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Le Meat, C’est Chic

Who doesn’t love a good, juicy burger? Apparently, France is embracing the all-American deliciousness of l’hamburger and putting the country’s own gourmet spin on the classic. According to an article in today’s New York Times, even three-star chefs are adding burgers to their menus – with the dollar at an all-time low, prices are beating even Le Cirque’s famed $50 hamburger.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Itgredients Road Trip - Chattanooga

I love a good road trip - or even a plane trip, despite the fact that flying is torture. A favorite road trip is just 1 and 1/2 hours away in Chattanooga -- an eclectic little town surrounded by mountains and water, kitschy activities -- and surprisingly good food.

If you're thinking of a trip, here are some of my faves:

Dogs need weekends too! Pets are welcome at the Sheraton Read House an historic hotel in the center of Chattanooga's business district. The Read House is the Old South at its finest, and also features the best of the 20th Century with a Starbucks on the lobby level.

For dinner or happy hour, the Boathouse is the perfect option. Off the beaten path in an industrial area, it overlooks the river -- perfect for sunset views. Get your garlic fix with their amazing roasted garlic oil - the chunks of garlic are like candy.

The most important meal of the day, breakfast, couldn't get better than sitting outside on the patio at the Back Inn Cafe in the Arts District. Another breakfast option is the quirky Aretha Frankensteins with delicious, yet strange-looking blueberry pancakes. Just don't go there expecting expeditious service - Chattanooga is definitely on it's own time.

If you want to really splurge (at least on fat and calories), try Wally's for some down-home cookin'. Their peach cobbler is to die for. And, the place has been around since 1937.

It's Official

Well, I've started a blog, and I'm excited to see where this goes. I'm tip-toeing into the waters of new and social media with this, so bear with me.

First, why the name? My favorite trend-forecasting newsletter used the phrase "Itgredients" in the most recent issue and I thought it was perfect. All of the postings to this blog will be ingredients for a better life - and things that I think are "It"! I'm hoping it will prove both informative and fun -- and continue to inspire creative thought around all things artistic, fashionable, delicious and just plain intriguing.

I also hope that friends, family and colleagues will contribute posts of things that make their lives hum as well.